Now that Labor's shadow minister for Israel, Michael Danby, has been re-elected in his seat of Melbourne Ports, and his brother-in-Zion, Mike Kelly, has won back his old seat of Eden Monaro, can we expect the pair to once again resume their practice of rounding up and "corralling" their Labor colleagues in support of Israel, much as they did in 2009 in the wake of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Ghetto?
(To see what I mean, please re-read my 1/3/09 post Nipping at their Heels.)
If so, one hapless colleague they'll probably be keeping an eye on and/or singling out for special attention is the new Labor member for the south-western Sydney seat of Macarthur, Dr Michael Freelander, profiled in the Australian Jewish News as "a senior pediatrician at Campbelltown and Camden hospitals with more than three decades of medical practice in the region," and described as "a proud Zionist." (Jewish candidates setting their sights on Canberra, 1/7/16)
The extent of the good doctor's "Zionism", of course, remains to be determined, but it's clear he's hardly in the Danby mould, because, as the AJN just had to point out, "he landed himself in hot water earlier in this campaign when he compared the Manus Island detention centre for refugees to a concentration camp. He apologised for offending the Jewish community and said that he was aware that he chose the wrong words." (ibid)
Judging by his apology, Freelander's chances of standing up to a Danby/Kelly damage control exercise following the next, inevitable Israeli outrage aren't looking too good. Still, we live in hope.
Re the election result, I find myself, at least this time around, in full agreement with ECAJ supremo, Peter Wertheim:
"Describing the election of so many Jews as 'a historic first', executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim said, 'Nothing could better illustrate how fortunate we are to live in a society where every office or position, no matter how high, is within the reach of any citizen, regardless of his or her ethnic or religious background." (History made with record number of Jews in Parliament, AJN, 8/7/16)
What a pity though he can't say the same about Israel.